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Israel–United States relations and associated politics

For discussion of religion and politics

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Alefroth
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by Alefroth »

Well this is pretty huge, and quite unexpected.

https://www.vox.com/2020/8/13/21366509/ ... -palestine
Israel and the United Arab Emirates just agreed to a historic deal to normalize their long-strained relations — and it may not have happened without the input of President Donald Trump’s administration.

In a surprise announcement Thursday, the US, Israel, and the United Arab Emirates put out a joint statement outlining how the two Middle Eastern nations will develop ties in numerous areas including investment, security, tourism, technology, and energy, and will establish formal embassies in each other’s countries.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by LawBeefaroni »

Alefroth wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 3:59 pm
may not have happened without the input of President Donald Trump’s administration.
What was the Trump administration input? "Graft is good!"?
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by Alefroth »

LawBeefaroni wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 4:08 pm
Alefroth wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 3:59 pm
may not have happened without the input of President Donald Trump’s administration.
What was the Trump administration input? "Graft is good!"?
In this administration's case, no input is good input. He didn't fuck it up, so yay Kushner!
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by Defiant »

It's a pretty significant foreign policy achievement. There's also reports that Bahrain will likely also normalize relations with Israel.

Well, now I can add something to the woefully empty pile of things where the administration actually did something positive.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by LawBeefaroni »

Well hear no end of it though. Winning, a diplomatic masterstroke, done what no one had been able to do ,etc.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by Freyland »

LawBeefaroni wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 4:48 pm Well hear no end of it though. Winning, a diplomatic masterstroke, done what no one had been able to do ,etc.
Good. Let him keep focusing on that. It may be great, but it doesn't save the US economy, create jobs or put money in the common man's pocket, so it won't help during election time.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by El Guapo »

Defiant wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 4:47 pm It's a pretty significant foreign policy achievement. There's also reports that Bahrain will likely also normalize relations with Israel.

Well, now I can add something to the woefully empty pile of things where the administration actually did something positive.
It is great news. I suspect that the main moving factor here is just that the Gulf states are way more terrified of Iran than of Israel, and need all the friends that they can get on Iran.

Still, if nothing else the Trump administration would get credit for not messing it up.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by El Guapo »

Looks like Israel has agreed to hold off on West Bank annexation as part of this deal, though Netanyahu is saying that's temporary.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by Holman »

OK, this is gross.

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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by El Guapo »

I mean....he's not totally wrong. Evangelicals do tend to be among the hardest of hardcore pro-Israel people.

Though obviously he, you know, didn't move the capital of Israel.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by Holman »

He did officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital as a sop to Netanyahu and the Israeli right wing.

The government of course remains in Tel Aviv, but at least the End Times Evangelicals can tick off the achievement of what they think is a prophecy.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by El Guapo »

Holman wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 10:16 am He did officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital as a sop to Netanyahu and the Israeli right wing.

The government of course remains in Tel Aviv, but at least the End Times Evangelicals can tick off the achievement of what they think is a prophecy.
:?:

No, the Israeli government is in Jerusalem, where they've been since 1980. Most foreign embassies have remained in Tel Aviv, but the Israeli government is definitely not.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by Holman »

El Guapo wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 10:20 am
Holman wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 10:16 am He did officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital as a sop to Netanyahu and the Israeli right wing.

The government of course remains in Tel Aviv, but at least the End Times Evangelicals can tick off the achievement of what they think is a prophecy.
:?:

No, the Israeli government is in Jerusalem, where they've been since 1980. Most foreign embassies have remained in Tel Aviv, but the Israeli government is definitely not.
Ouch. I was wrong there. I always thought the Knesset met in Tel Aviv. :oops:

I would swear I've heard reporters use "Tel Aviv" as shorthand for the Israeli government (the way we say "Washington"), but it really looks like there's no reason they would do so. My brain must be busted.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by Defiant »

El Guapo wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 10:20 am
No, the Israeli government is in Jerusalem, where they've been since 1949. Most foreign embassies have remained in Tel Aviv, but the Israeli government is definitely not.
FTFY
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by Defiant »

He did officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital as a sop to Netanyahu and the Israeli right wing.
It wasn't just the Israeli right-wing that wanted this, but the center and much of the left-wing, too.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by El Guapo »

Defiant wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 10:36 am
He did officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital as a sop to Netanyahu and the Israeli right wing.
It wasn't just the Israeli right-wing that wanted this, but the center and much of the left-wing, too.
Honestly, the Knesset's in West Jerusalem, which would remain part of Israel under any plausible peace deal. So it seems silly to me to keep embassies in Tel Aviv instead of West Jerusalem, even though I get not wanting to stir up controversy.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by Holman »

Defiant wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 10:36 am
He did officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital as a sop to Netanyahu and the Israeli right wing.
It wasn't just the Israeli right-wing that wanted this, but the center and much of the left-wing, too.
Past U.S. presidents have declined to fully recognize Jerusalem as the capital because of the damage it would do to Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Trump took the step because Netanyahu wanted that damage done.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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Kosovo intends to establish diplomatic ties with Israel and both that Balkan-Muslim majority nation as well as Serbia plan to open embassies in Jerusalem.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed both historic announcements, which were made by US President Donald Trump from the White House’s Oval Office on Friday, during a meeting to establish normalized economic ties between Serbia and Kosovo.
https://www.jpost.com/breaking-news/tru ... lem-641102
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by Holman »



I don't know if the interpretation has been verified, but Jasmin Mujanović is an expert on the region.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by Isgrimnur »

NY Times
Furious that Israel was about to annex large swaths of the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, took the painful step in June of refusing to accept taxes collected by Israel that account for more than 60 percent of the authority’s budget.

Then last month, Israel suspended the annexation plan as part of its agreement to normalize relations with the United Arab Emirates. Because annexation remains a possibility, though, Mr. Abbas is still refusing to accept the money, in what some Palestinian officials privately say is more an attempt to save face than to force further changes in Israeli policy.

So while Mr. Abbas looks for some kind of gesture from Israel that he can hold up as a victory, and Israel refuses to commit to dropping annexation permanently, salaries in the territory are not being paid, families are enduring hardships, and the Palestinian Authority is careering toward bankruptcy.

Late Friday, the Palestinian leader suffered another setback when a second Gulf state, Bahrain, announced it, too, would normalize relations with Israel. With this, Bahrain defied Mr. Abbas’s longstanding demand that Arab countries normalize ties with Israel only after the establishment of a Palestinian state.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by Holman »

Wait... so this Israel-UAE deal is actually called the "Abraham Accords"?

That's really gross. They're treating political entities as essentially religious ones.

This has Pompeo's and Pence's gooey fundamentalism all over it.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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Holman wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:53 pm Wait... so this Israel-UAE deal is actually called the "Abraham Accords"?

That's really gross. They're treating political entities as essentially religious ones.

This has Pompeo's and Pence's gooey fundamentalism all over it.
ehhhh, I dunno. Abraham is a foundational figure for Judaism and Islam (and Christianity), and the three together are often referred to as the "Abrahamic faiths". I would assume that the name is intended to evoke unity / commonality among the signatories, and I wouldn't at all assume that the name came from the U.S. (though it's possible).
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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El Guapo wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:17 pm
Holman wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:53 pm Wait... so this Israel-UAE deal is actually called the "Abraham Accords"?

That's really gross. They're treating political entities as essentially religious ones.

This has Pompeo's and Pence's gooey fundamentalism all over it.
ehhhh, I dunno. Abraham is a foundational figure for Judaism and Islam (and Christianity), and the three together are often referred to as the "Abrahamic faiths". I would assume that the name is intended to evoke unity / commonality among the signatories, and I wouldn't at all assume that the name came from the U.S. (though it's possible).
I do know who Abraham is. My point is that the agreement is between political entities, not religious ones.

Assigning religious connotations to a political treaty is the icky part.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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Gross? Typical Trump move.

This is all about delivering the goods for US fundamentalist and Israeli constituencies. It also means Israel and the Arab world no longer sees the US as a useful arbitrator.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by Defiant »

If it were Trump that named it, wouldn't it be called "The TRUMP accords?"
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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Holman wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 5:07 pm
El Guapo wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:17 pm
Holman wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:53 pm Wait... so this Israel-UAE deal is actually called the "Abraham Accords"?

That's really gross. They're treating political entities as essentially religious ones.

This has Pompeo's and Pence's gooey fundamentalism all over it.
ehhhh, I dunno. Abraham is a foundational figure for Judaism and Islam (and Christianity), and the three together are often referred to as the "Abrahamic faiths". I would assume that the name is intended to evoke unity / commonality among the signatories, and I wouldn't at all assume that the name came from the U.S. (though it's possible).
I do know who Abraham is. My point is that the agreement is between political entities, not religious ones.

Assigning religious connotations to a political treaty is the icky part.
Israel is both a political and a religious entity - being the Jewish state is at the core of Israel's identity and reason for being. Less so for the UAE (though I don't think that they have the same church-state divide that we do), but religious differences are (to put it mildly) at the root of a lot of the conflict between Israel and the Arab / Muslim countries in the region. So like I said, I read calling it the Abraham Accords as a nod towards unity (could also be read as being welcoming of other countries in the region joining as well in the future, since they are abrahamic as well).

Also, is there any indication that the name came from the US / Pence / Pompeo?
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by El Guapo »

Zarathud wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 5:11 pm Gross? Typical Trump move.

This is all about delivering the goods for US fundamentalist and Israeli constituencies. It also means Israel and the Arab world no longer sees the US as a useful arbitrator.
How is this all about delivering the goods for US fundamentalist and Israeli constituencies? The deal is pretty straightforward. Israel needs better global recognition / legitimacy (particularly in the Arab world). The UAE / Bahrain need a strong partner to help protect them from Iran. That's what each of them gets out of the deal - not super complicated, and not much to do with US fundamentalists (though I imagine they support this because they support Israel and because this improves Israeli security).
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by Holman »

El Guapo wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:46 pm
Holman wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 5:07 pm
El Guapo wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:17 pm
Holman wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:53 pm Wait... so this Israel-UAE deal is actually called the "Abraham Accords"?

That's really gross. They're treating political entities as essentially religious ones.

This has Pompeo's and Pence's gooey fundamentalism all over it.
ehhhh, I dunno. Abraham is a foundational figure for Judaism and Islam (and Christianity), and the three together are often referred to as the "Abrahamic faiths". I would assume that the name is intended to evoke unity / commonality among the signatories, and I wouldn't at all assume that the name came from the U.S. (though it's possible).
I do know who Abraham is. My point is that the agreement is between political entities, not religious ones.

Assigning religious connotations to a political treaty is the icky part.
Israel is both a political and a religious entity - being the Jewish state is at the core of Israel's identity and reason for being. Less so for the UAE (though I don't think that they have the same church-state divide that we do), but religious differences are (to put it mildly) at the root of a lot of the conflict between Israel and the Arab / Muslim countries in the region. So like I said, I read calling it the Abraham Accords as a nod towards unity (could also be read as being welcoming of other countries in the region joining as well in the future, since they are abrahamic as well).

Also, is there any indication that the name came from the US / Pence / Pompeo?
No, I've seen no indication that the name came from the US, but we know that Pompeo (who presumably had a hand in the festivities) is an eschatological lunatic of the highest order.

The point is that this is religious coloring slapped on a political event. Abraham is a mythic figure central to competing religious narratives, and involving that story in the diplomatic process only inflames and encourages those who see the Middle East as a field of religious contest rather than one of political complexity. We know who they are.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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Holman wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:54 pm
No, I've seen no indication that the name came from the US, but we know that Pompeo (who presumably had a hand in the festivities) is an eschatological lunatic of the highest order.

The point is that this is religious coloring slapped on a political event. Abraham is a mythic figure central to competing religious narratives, and involving that story in the diplomatic process only inflames and encourages those who see the Middle East as a field of religious contest rather than one of political complexity. We know who they are.
He's not a controversial or warlike figure or anything though. He's a figure that everyone involved agrees on - everyone likes Abraham. So I dunno, I really can't see this as divisive or problematic or anything. But YMMV, I guess.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by Holman »

El Guapo wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:58 pm
Holman wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:54 pm
No, I've seen no indication that the name came from the US, but we know that Pompeo (who presumably had a hand in the festivities) is an eschatological lunatic of the highest order.

The point is that this is religious coloring slapped on a political event. Abraham is a mythic figure central to competing religious narratives, and involving that story in the diplomatic process only inflames and encourages those who see the Middle East as a field of religious contest rather than one of political complexity. We know who they are.
He's not a controversial or warlike figure or anything though. He's a figure that everyone involved agrees on - everyone likes Abraham. So I dunno, I really can't see this as divisive or problematic or anything. But YMMV, I guess.
No, Abraham in the stories is not a bad guy.

The mileage I'm worried about is this administration branding its politics as religion. We've seen enough to know that's bad, and we should push back when we see more of it.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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Zarathud wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 5:11 pm It also means Israel and the Arab world no longer sees the US as a useful arbitrator.
When you say "Arab world" do you mean the Palestinians? Because the Arab world is more than the Palestinians and this doesn't suggest at all that the Arab world doesn't see the US as a useful arbitrator (just like it didn't after peace was achieve between Israel and Jordan or Israel and Egypt).

As far as the Palestinians, they already decided that *this administration* wasn't a useful arbitrator a while ago.

In a sane administration, this achievement could be used to launch another attempt at negotiation between Israel and the Palestinians (and hopefully will when if Biden wins (I did not just tempt the wrath of the whatever from high atop the thing) he will follow up on this opportunity), and the UAE and Bahrain could take a bigger part of those negotiations (like Egypt and Jordan have).
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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"The military relationship that America has with the United Arab Emirates is very special, just as the relationship that America has with Israel is incredibly special," Kushner said.
https://www.business-standard.com/artic ... 085_1.html

:| :think:

A bizzare comment, and probably a minor diplomatic mistake, but then, Kushner is probably special in his own way.

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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by $iljanus »

Some geopolitical woolgathering:

I think the relevance of the Palestinian cause to major Middle Eastern countries has become a 20th century thing. In the 21st century, the major concern among Gulf states is countering Iranian influence with the conflict between Sunni vs Shia ideologies. The importance of Palestinian independence won't be completely ignored but countering Iran in Yemen and checking their influence in Iraq is more important now. The Palestinians have been existing in their current political state for decades with a somewhat viable state in the West Bank and the usual misery in Gaza. The status quo doesn't cause issues for the rich Gulf countries, unlike in the 20th century when the PLO was a major political force in the region.

Making peace with Israel isn't as toxic as it once was. It's a country that opposes Iran and frankly they would rather concentrate their military efforts towards countering Iran. And I don't see Israel wanting to invade their neighbors. More importantly, the spigot of US arms sales will now be open wider. All this peace will bring huge profits for defense industries which plays into Trump's transactional nature and any political benefits for Trump would be a bonus too for Israel and friends since he's a "President" who really doesn't care how they run their countries. I think there has been stability between Israel and its Gulf neighbors for many years. But it remains to be seen if all this peace breaking out will lead to more geopolitical instability in the region as Yemen heats up and Iran exerting force in other venues because it feels more threatened while we sell more military support for the majority Sunni nations.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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President Donald Trump participated in a call about the high holidays with Jewish leaders on Wednesday, but it veered into a campaign pitch where he pleaded for more support from Jewish voters and repeated a line that has drawn criticism for being an anti-Semitic trope about American Jews' loyalty to Israel.

"We really appreciate you, we love your country also and thank you very much," Trump said, concluding his call.
His use of "your country" when speaking to Americans was reminiscent of previous remarks he's made that were criticized for the suggestion that American Jews view themselves as loyal to Israel.
https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/16/politics ... index.html
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by Holman »

Defiant wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:17 am
President Donald Trump participated in a call about the high holidays with Jewish leaders on Wednesday, but it veered into a campaign pitch where he pleaded for more support from Jewish voters and repeated a line that has drawn criticism for being an anti-Semitic trope about American Jews' loyalty to Israel.

"We really appreciate you, we love your country also and thank you very much," Trump said, concluding his call.
His use of "your country" when speaking to Americans was reminiscent of previous remarks he's made that were criticized for the suggestion that American Jews view themselves as loyal to Israel.
https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/16/politics ... index.html
Part of it is also the conflation of the post-1948 nation of Israel with the biblical Kingdom of Israel.

There's no more continuity between the two than there is between King Arthur's court and Boris Johnson's government, but conservatives (guided by Evangelicals) routinely imply their identity.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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Last Friday, liberal Zionists received an unwelcome and unpleasant surprise with the announcement that Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was reconsidering, eventually to officially withdraw, her participation in an Americans for Peace Now event commemorating the twenty-fifth anniversary of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. The about-face was initiated on Twitter when Ocasio-Cortez responded to a tweet from Jewish Currents writer and former Mondoweiss editor Alex Kane describing Rabin’s reputation among Palestinians as one of “brutal rule suppressing Palestinian protest during the First Intifada, as someone who reportedly ordered the breaking of Palestinian bones” by saying that the event and her involvement were misrepresented to her team and that she was looking into it. Ocasio-Cortez’s withdrawal from an event commemorating the life of Israel’s most celebrated peacemaker held by an unimpeachably Zionist pro-peace organization at the forefront of documenting the harmful impacts of settlement expansion is worthy of commentary in its own right, but the commentary should not end there. There is a larger set of points to be made about the nature of peace between Israelis and Palestinians, and whether it involves understanding and empathy for both sides or only for one.

Starting with the obvious, what makes Ocasio-Cortez’s decision so disconcerting is that participating in this event should have been a no-brainer. While I am not generally in the business of either defending or criticizing other organizations, APN and its Israeli counterpart Peace Now are the patient zero of the Israeli-Palestinian peace movement and as critical to the fight to end Israeli occupation of the West Bank as any group that exists. Furthermore, Rabin is revered by liberal American Jews and Democratic lawmakers, many of whom view his assassination as the event from which the peace camp never recovered. To denigrate APN by leaving the impression that it is covering for alleged Israeli war crimes and to treat Rabin as an insincere Trojan Horse who was only feinting toward peace and concessions in order to perpetuate injustice is as hard a turn to radicalism as exists in the context of Democratic politics and American Jewish discourse. It is out of step with the overwhelming majority of American Jews, who view Rabin as a positive example, and it is redolent of when outsiders make lists of good and bad representatives of an ethnic or racial minority. Many Palestinians have cause to dislike Rabin, but for Ocasio-Cortez to treat him as beyond the pale puts her well beyond the boundaries of traditional liberal politics.
There is an ideological battle being waged over Rabin’s legacy, with one side holding him up as the person who set Israel on a dangerous trajectory, and the other side holding him up as the leader who was poised to bring true peace had he been able to complete his work. Into this steps Ocasio-Cortez – one of the most prominent figureheads of American progressive politics – with the message to Israelis that their icon of peace is actually irredeemable, and that those who supported Rabin and his Oslo approach are actually no different than the Israelis who opposed it. It effectively takes those in Israel who are still working toward peace in a way that respects both Israeli and Palestinian nationalism and throws them under the bus.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by El Guapo »

Yeah, that was super disappointing and frustrating, especially since overall I like AOC quite a bit and think she's generally pretty sensible. But she's way off here. And this is something that (incrementally) hurts the prospects to peace, as one of the significant obstacles to any sort of Palestinian peace deal is the sense among mainstream Israelis that if they try to strike a deal that all they'll get is rockets from the West Bank and continued condemnation from the world. And this feeds into part of that - if the leader who was literally assassinated because he was trying to strike a peace deal isn't good enough for you, who will ever be good enough?
Black Lives Matter.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by Defiant »

Israel, Sudan Agree to Normalize Ties in U.S.-Brokered Deal
srael and Sudan agreed to normalize ties in a U.S.-brokered deal on Friday, the White House said, ending decades of hostility as one of Africa’s largest countries joins a broader diplomatic realignment in the Middle East.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

Post by LawBeefaroni »

Political stunt.

1. Remove from terrorist list.
2. Ignore behavior.
3. "Broker" peace deal.
4. Be shocked when polls don't budge.
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Re: Israel–United States relations and associated politics

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